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Steve Unruh - Challenging Gravity CD (album) cover


Steve Unruh


Prog Folk

4.01 | 60 ratings

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Marty McFly
Special Collaborator
Errors and Omissions Team
4 stars My ongoing Prog research lead me to this lair of beautiful sounds called "Challenging Gravity". To be honest, I was expecting decent modern Prog Folk album, but how was I wrong by assuming this, so very wrong.

If Eclectic means various, then this album surely is influenced by manThere are two oriental tracks, Twilight in India and The Path to Alhambra which depicts this theme quite well and brings fresh air to this 50 minutes composition.

Challenging is battle between all instruments featured here, battle for dominance, which one will be the prominent one, as if they were living beings and tried to please us, listeners. Then in the middle the song breaks and comes soft plunking and gentle violin (that's advantage of strings, they can sounds like that when they want - I mean when player wants).

Thanks Steve for this album, you have really made my day with this. Without bias, without blindly supporting him, I can easily say that it is one of the best albums of this year. Drums are basses are electric, but I didn't notice until I read it (in "Line-up / Musicians).

Now comes part with shorter songs, so far we had 7/11 minutes long ones and no songs with average length little bit over 4 minutes. First one (and also the longest one) is The Ocean is (you guess) calm song that couldn't be done better, quite well depicts this atmosphere with instruments given. Water body is probably the best musically depicted with acoustic guitar, which I'm starting to take as s fact. Later also flute joins.

Bluebird is on the contrary melancholic song and Fighting Gravity, title track, shows life story of some kind of underdog man rejected by society. I admit, I'm not that good on understanding lyrics at first few listenings, so it may be about Newton (logical choice, he is the one I usually connect with "Theory of Gravity"), but who knows.

It's like what Jeff Beck does with his guitar or Rick Wakeman with keyboards (even not that skilled, that I have to admit), Steve doesn't play exactly in virtuoso way, but he has a gift to create very suggestive moods from these instruments. One man band and sounds like completely normal Prog Folk group, that's important too.

Three years fans waited for new Steve Unruh album, but their waiting was greatly rewarded. Of course, he has his own band too (Resistor, which I hope will soon get recognized here as Prog group)

Disolve is probably the most psychedelic one of these songs (these elements glimpses in final stage of this song), otherwise it's quite Heavy song. Final track Reflecting Pond which closes this wonderful album, using this kind of optimistic sounding chords that second (or two seconds) later turns out to be sad ones, exactly - melancholic song again that uses layering and then suddenly dissolves before the end only come again with reprise of previously used structures of the same song.

4(+), this combination of various elements in such interesting way is simply irresistible.

Marty McFly | 4/5 |


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